Professional athletes are some of the most physically demanding occupations in the modern world, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t also have to pay attention to their physical appearance. In fact, the process of constantly wearing the same shoes day after day can take a serious toll on your feet, but that doesn’t mean that NBA players aren’t wearing new pairs from time to time.
The thought of NBA players grinding out a night of basketball in their game-worn sneakers is just a little too much for most fans to digest. But the truth is, most players change their shoes during the course of the season, but some go through multiple pairs of shoes in a game. This is because shoes wear out within the upper half of the shoe and a player can only wear certain pairs of shoes during the course of a game; some players can last three to four games with each pair of shoes before they start to wear out.
The thought of an NBA player testing out a new pair of shoes for each game can probably seem like quite the daunting task to some players. However, for every player on the court, there are several dozen pairs of shoes that have been ordered for them. Most players try to get at least a dozen new pairs every season. As you can imagine, this is a massive logistical undertaking, not to mention a money-sucking, yet necessary process.Ever since Michael Jordan became a marketing icon in partnership with Nike, attractive sneakers have been an important part of a player’s image. Sneaker culture has become so big that actors like PJ Tucker now have sellable brands through their Instagram updates. NBA players have a different attitude towards shoes than most people. Your shoes should be both functional and aesthetic. How do players choose their shoes for each game? How many pairs are produced per season?
The shoe game of the NBA has changed a lot over the years
NBA star Michael Jordan at Air Jordan 2009. Kelly Kline/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli. The evolution of the NBA is clear when you look at the increasing athletic ability and skill of the players that make the game so interesting. But the rise of sneaker culture is also incredible when you look at history. It’s funny to think that Converse Chuck Taylors were basketball shoes in the 50s and 60s. Legends like Bill Russell and Jerry West threw tires into the flattest of joints and yet became icons of the sport. A lot has changed since then. The road to sneakers as we know them began in the 1970s when Nike, Adidas and Puma got involved. But everything changed after the release of the Air Jordan 1 in 1985. Since then, sneakers have become the intersection of sports and fashion and a billion dollar industry. Celebrities who want to attract attention include rare or fashionable slippers in their repertoire. Famous polyglots like Kanye West, Pharrell and Virgil Abloh are now producing shoes that sell out as soon as they go on sale. Savvy sneaker lovers create bots that buy the latest sneakers to resell them later at higher prices. Okay, the last part isn’t as cool, but the idea remains the same: The shoe business is a serious business.
Every NBA player has his own shoe cycle
. Ask a random group of NBA players how often they wear a new pair of shoes, and you’ll get a number of answers. According to Basketball Noise, players wear one pair of shoes for four to 20 games. The Denver Nuggets’ recruiting head said each player goes through about 50 games during the regular season. The reason for these rapid changes varies from person to person. For some, it’s just a matter of convenience. They want to feel like they have the optimal outfit for every game, so they can perform at their best without having to worry about their shoes causing an accident, like Zion Williamson. Many players have their shoes custom made in a sports science lab. Once this is done, each pair they wear will fit their feet perfectly. Wearing 50 pairs of shoes seems crazy to the average fan, but if you could have custom-made shoes at the touch of a button, wouldn’t you? Sometimes the choice of footwear coincides with a national holiday (all new sneakers released for the Christmas games), a public theme (Nike releasing its collection for Black History Month), or they just want to show off a bright new color. Sure, it’s largely in the name of money, but it’s another indicator of how important shoes are to the NBA experience.
Jordan remains the king of the shoe
. He retired almost two decades ago, but Jordan is still the leader in sneaker sales. Forbes reported 14 current or former players with the most profitable shoe contracts in 2019. The size of these contracts depends mainly on potential sales, individual rewards and team performance. Jordan is still the top player, earning $130 million a year, four times more than LeBron James, who is in second place. The combined contracts of the other 13 players on the list are only $76 million more than his highness. Jordan Brand maintains its power through new color combinations, retro product launches and a profitable understanding of the supply/demand relationship. It has everything to do with the power of nostalgia. Mad Men’s Don Draper can explain it better than anyone, as the YouTube video above shows. It’s the same reason The Last Dance brought sports fans together in the early days of the pandemic. (Well, that and the memes.) The Jordan 1 didn’t become an icon because it honored the basketball player of a generation. They are iconic because they represent a romanticized past where athletes weren’t constantly posting on Instagram. These NBA players can still be portrayed as untouchable supermen. These are the shoes you always wanted as a kid, but could never have until now. It’s a powerful thing. Shoes can mean many things to many people, no matter how often they are replaced. COMPARED TO: The true story behind the most famous Air JordansThere’s been a lot of talk about LeBron James wearing a new pair of Nike sneakers every game. Is this a sign of him being complacent? Or, is he trying to force a trade to a team that can win championships, like the Spurs? Without a doubt, James has won titles in Cleveland, Miami, and Dallas. He’s been to the NBA Finals six times (winning three rings with the Heat), and won the regular season MVP award in 2013.. Read more about what shoes do nba players wear 2021 and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do NBA players change shoes?
Over the past few years, the NBA has seen an increasing trend among its players to change their footwear. In the early 2000s, many small-market players wore the same shoe throughout close to their entire careers. As the years progressed, players began to wear the same shoe for the entirety of their careers. Today that is no longer true, as the player market has evolved to where brands are trying to get players to change the shoes they wear for every game. There are many different types of sneakers that players wear, and they may change depending on their style of play. Some players like to wear flashy shoes such as Nike Air Foamposite or Air Jordan. Others like to wear a more practical shoe, such as Adidas sneakers. Some players like to wear a more classic pair of sneakers, while others like to wear a shoe that can withstand playing in wet weather.
Do NBA players get new gear every game?
With all the talk of the NBA’s lack of a dress code, you might be surprised to find out that the only thing standing between you and the court is a pair of sneakers. Although the NBA is the most lucrative league in the world, the average player’s salary does not rise as dramatically as the value of the league and its players. This is why players do not always get to wear the latest and greatest shoes and sneakers. However, this season players are getting a bit of a break in that respect. In the wake of the high profile shooting in Orlando, the NBA put out new regulations on the amount of gear players are allowed to carry with them.
How do NBA players get their shoes?
The sneakers worn by the 30 teams in the NBA are manufactured by a range of different companies. Some of those brands have been around for years and years, while others are more recent and up-and-coming. But what happens when an NBA player changes his or her shoes for a new season? Do NBA players have to buy a whole new set to start the year? Or is there a way that players can use the same shoe from last year? The answer to that is a bit complicated, but it basically comes down to the fact that NBA players don’t wear the exact same sneakers in every game. They are the shoes that are worn, broken in, and out of rotation in a blink of an eye. They are shoes that are used for a season, and then forgotten. They are the shoes that get passed around the locker room in a toss up between two teammates, or one or the other. They are the shoes that are held onto for dear life. They are the shoes that a player may need to retire because the soles have been ripped to shreds. They are the shoes that are retired, and a player looks to get a new pair. They are the shoes that are discussed at a basketball team video session, and they are the shoes that are broken out for a practice. They are the shoes that are worn in the locker
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